In 2001, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler joined with Britney Spears to sing “Walk This Way” at halftime of the Super Bowl. Now the duo is reuniting — though not to perform.
Along with Ozzy Osbourne, Sting, and Dr. Dre, Tyler and Spears told the Department of Commerce Monday that songwriters, not copyright law, should determine who can remix or mash-up their music.
In the age of YouTube, remixes have become an art form unto themself. To foster creation in this area, the Patent Office’s July 2013 copyright review explored creating a compulsory license that would allow anyone to use a song to remix or sample for a set fee.
Tyler, who led the effort with the help of music industry lawyer Dina LaPolt, said such a legal structure would take away the artist’s power to determine how their music is used.
“Approval is by far the most important right that an artist possesses,” LaPolt wrote. “If an artist does not want his or her music used in a certain way, no amount of money will change his or her mind.”
Music artists are particularly concerned that their music could be aligned with a political or commercial message they do not support. For example, the Eagle’s Joe Walsh—who also sent a letter opposing a compulsory license—took issue with Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh reworking the lyrics to his song “Lead the Way” during the Congressman’s 2010 campaign.
The task force’s official comment period ended on January 8, but the artists were granted special permission to submit their comments late.
Other issues explored in the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force’s “green paper” include updating the licensing structure for terrestrial radio and reviewing the first-sale doctrine that allows consumers to resell products.
Copyright laws are undergoing review in Congress as well, but meaningful legislation has not been introduced. The next step for the IPTF, which brings together the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, will be preparing a formal recommendation for Congress, though a timeline has not been set.
What We're Following See More »
"Sen. Lindsay Graham said he is '100 percent behind' embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and said there would be 'holy hell to pay' if President Donald Trump fires him. Graham also said that if the president went after special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who’s directing the investigation into possible contacts between Trump’s circle and Russia, that could be the 'beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.'"
"Senate GOP leaders picked up support Wednesday for their plan to pass a scaled-back bill to repeal a handful of elements in the current health law, and then open negotiations with House Republicans to try to bring together their two very different bills."
"Paul Manafort, who served as a top aide to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, on Tuesday provided congressional investigators notes he took during a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer that has emerged as a focus in the investigation of Russian interference in the election. Manafort’s submission, which came as he was interviewed in a closed session by staff members for the Senate Intelligence Committee, could offer a key contemporaneous account of the June 2016 session."
By the narrowest of margins, the Senate voted 51-50 this afternoon to begin debate on the House's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins defected from the GOP, but Vice President Pence broke a tie. Sen. John McCain returned from brain surgery to cast his vote.